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Wildlife Rehabilitation

The District is home to a variety of wildlife, many who are also considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need. In an effort to protect all District wildlife, any individual performing wildlife rehabilitation must be licensed with DOEE. In addition all wildlife rehabilitation must take place in an animal facility licensed by the Department of Health. The District does not allow for in-home rehabilitation.  

If you have found wildlife that is sick or injured and is in need of some assistance, please contact City Wildlife at 202-882-1000

DOEE offers two types of rehabilitation licenses, one for a wildlife rehabilitator and another for a wildlife rehabilitation apprentice. The cost for a wildlife rehabilitator license is $50. There is no fee for a wildlife rehabilitation apprentice. Below are the requirements for each license.

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Present a valid District or state-issued ID;
  • Certify that they have not been convicted of an offense relating to wildlife animal cruelty;
  • Demonstrate reasonable experience and skill in handling and caring for wild animals by providing documentation of one of the following:
    - 200 hours of experience as a wildlife rehabilitation apprentice physically caring for wild animals in each of the four seasons and over the course of two or more years; or
    - A degree in veterinary medicine, veterinary technology, or animal science; or
    - A valid wildlife rehabilitation license or permit issued by another state.
  • Complete 100 hours of documented hands on experience with wildlife within the last year;
  • Complete 12 hours of continuing education classes or research approved by DOEE;
  • Take a course and pass a test designed by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council or another organization approved by DOEE;
  • Be a member in good standing of a nationally recognized rehabilitation association and agree to maintain membership.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Apprentice

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Present a valid District or state-issued ID;
  • Certify that they have not been convicted of an offence involving wildlife or animal cruelty;
  • Work under the supervision of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for the treatment and care of animals being rehabilitated; and
  • Work in an animal facility licensed by the Department of Health.
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